Hagel vis­its first Zumwalt class de­stroyer


The US De­fense Sec­re­tary Chuck Hagel said the not-yet-launched Zumwalt class de­stroyer he toured re­cently “rep­re­sents the cut­ting-edge of our naval ca­pa­bil­i­ties.”

The ship, now known as the pre­com­mis­sion­ing unit (PCU), Zumwalt, will be­come the USS Zumwalt, named for for­mer Navy Adm. Elmo Zumwalt. Of­fi­cials said the ship is about a year away from join­ing the fleet.

The Zumwalt, Navy of­fi­cials ex­plained, has highly ac­cu­rate long-range weapons, an im­pres­sive power gen­er­a­tion ca­pa­bil­ity and a de­sign em­pha­sis­ing “stealthy” radard­e­feat­ing ma­te­ri­als and shapes.

Hagel thanked Gen­eral Dy­nam­ics and its work­force at Bath Iron Works, which will pro­duce all three of the Zumwalt class ships planned for pro­duc­tion. The sec­re­tary called the fa­cil­ity “a mag­nif­i­cent in­sti­tu­tion that’s been part of the se­cu­rity of this coun­try for 130 years.”

The ship can gen­er­ate 78 megawatts of power, and can chan­nel it to propul­sion, ship­board use and weapons sys­tems. Of­fi­cials said the guided mis­sile de­stroyer is the first navy ship to be fully elec­tri­cal, and it was de­signed to use au­to­mated sys­tems as much as pos­si­ble to de­crease the num­ber of sailors needed as crew.

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